Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Every case is different, but in general, we find that people who hire lawyers fare better than people who do not. If you’re unsure, schedule a free consultation at our office to discuss your case with a lawyer and ask any questions you have about what it’s like to hire one. It’s our job to relieve you of the stress of handling your claim, so we’re happy to answer whatever questions you have.
If you were in a wreck, you’re probably dealing with at least one insurance company, maybe more. Our courts call insurance companies “professional defenders of lawsuits.” Insurers are in business to make money. Their business model depends on your ignorance. Hiring your own attorney can level the playing field. If an insurance company has professional help, then you should, too.
There are so many questions that may affect your case. For example: What is a fair value for your claim? What other insurance may be available? If there are multiple insurance policies, which one pays first? When does an insurance company owe penalties and attorney fees for mishandling a claim? We have the training and experience to help you answer those questions.
Car Wreck To Dos:
First things first: When involved in a motor vehicle crash, seek proper medical care and notify the police. Injuries can occur even when it seems to be a minor car wreck. Seeking medical treatment is obviously important for health reasons, but prompt aid can also help with the success of any damage claims. Often times, an adrenaline rush after a wreck can result in injuries going unnoticed for several days. When in doubt, get it checked out.
Once the police arrive, they will help determine fault and create a motor vehicle crash report. These reports are very helpful when making insurance claims. Make sure to swap information with all of the drivers, passengers and witnesses involved. It is best to get the full name, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information of every driver, passenger, and witness.
Before leaving the scene, take pictures of the scene of the crash, vehicles involved, and any obvious skid marks. You may also want to make note of weather conditions, road conditions, road signs, or any other elements that can be provided as evidence.
When Injuries Need Medical Attention
If you’re injured, seek medical treatment. That’s just common sense. But it’s also important from a legal perspective. It is very hard to prove injuries without documentation. Medical records are important evidence.
The kind of treatment you need is up to your doctor. When you go to your appointments, always explain your injuries thoroughly and honestly. Inform your medical providers about how your injury happened. This will help doctors treat you properly. It will also help your medical records contain adequate documentation about what happened to you. Don’t skip appointments or disobey your doctor’s orders. It may seem unfair, but insurance companies will use this as ammunition to argue that you aren’t serious about getting better.
Filling an Insurance Claim
If you were in a car crash, it is best to call the insurance company for the at-fault driver as soon as possible. You will then be assigned a claim number and adjuster. Your adjuster is responsible for getting as much information from you as possible.
Property Damage Assessment
Once the claim is filed, the adjuster will get an estimated cost of the damages, setup a rental car if needed, and will review all other damages associated with the wreck. If your vehicle’s damages are not considered a total loss, you may have a diminished value claim. A diminished value claim is when a repaired vehicle is worth less than it was prior to a wreck. To find out more, call Stutes & Lavergne to speak to an attorney.